The kid ninja with the bleached hair and the metal head band is just DOMINATING. With 50 volumes out and 51 coming this Friday (in Japan), NARUTO’s sales have crossed into the septuple digits with 100,400,000 units . BELIEVE IT! Sheesh… I can't help but think of this picture book I enjoyed as a kid. It would illustrate exactly how high money would stack if you converted it into change. 500 grand worth of nickles might stand up to the top of a building, the same amount in pennies might make it to the top of a skyscaper, and so on. I can’t even fathom how high more than a million copies of Naruto would stack. Maybe to the moon? Anyway, according to ANN, this figure makes Naruto the #5 all-time seller for Shueisha, ranking behind the likes of DRAGON BALL, ONE PIECE and SLAM DUNK.
Ironically, while those 50 NARUTO volumes have been selling so well all over the world (I believe we Americans are only up to #48, though), sales have been receding in the US of A. Borders and Barnes & Noble haven’t been missing significant chunks of the NARUTO catalog in their inventory, reflecting an overall scaling back of manga sales. I’m not going to bore you with all the figures, here, so check them out at ICV2 if you feel so inclined.
The thing I always say when I’m witness to a runaway success is… “I don’t understand why it’s such a hit, but I want to.” So I’m inviting you lunatics in the Anime Vice - - fans and haters alike - - to break it down for me. What do you like about NARUTO? What do you loathe about it? And why, oh why, do you figure it’s such a smash?